Tuesday, May 29, 2018

To Work on Bike for 3 Days

Something happened earlier this past week that eventually made me to go to work riding my bicycle. I went to a carwash to clean my car a little on Sun. where I saw a sort of screw in my front left tire. In cases like that it's said it's better to leave the screw in because if you took it out, you'd lose the pressure. Wrong! You have to immediately but gently take it out, go to a repair shop and have the tire fixed. That's what I didn't do and went to work on Tue. The next morning when I came down to get to the car, I saw the flat tire! Thankfully it was not too late. So I went back in, grabbed the bike and went to work and arrived on time.
Despite the fact that it is not a good photo, I still hope it shows the beauty of spring alongside Calgary pathway
It's almost 14 Km one way and the majority is designated bicycle pathway, safe and fun to ride except the spots that it gets uphill or one spot that I have to cross the railway. Of course if you're not at the crossroad when the train is approaching, you'd be fine. Otherwise you have to wait as long at 6 minutes and 6 minutes is crucial in cycling. In addition to this route that I would took,  there's another one which goes from the city in between two pathways and is kind of a shortcut because saves you 2 Km each way. Perhaps I should try that to see how the streets are but as soon as I fix the car I will reduce the days to 2 or maximum 3 only because it's very tiring. Nevertheless I saved 22.5 Km x 3 ~ 67 Km worth of gasoline this week as well as the mileage of course.
The pathway is nice and beautiful and goes by two rivers, the Zoo and wildflowers and singing birds but you always have this anxiety that you might not be able to get there on time or you get a flat tire. If your tire gets punctured, you're done! You have to walk all the way either to work or home depending on your distance from them but there're quite a number of people who ride their bikes to and from work every day and although I only did that for three days, I saw people in the third day that I remembered seeing them in the first day but most of them have easy office jobs, I assume.
(Photo: Part of the designated bicycle pathway in Calgary)

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Another Crucial Gate

I received another e-mail from my potential employer, this one in regards to a series of medical examinations a little while ago. It was a little bit scary because they check everything. I think it feels scary to me because I have been screwed over and over in the past 2 years or so and have lost a tremendous amount of confidence and although I've passed the first important stages, I felt shaky when I saw the forms! 
Nevertheless I went to this clinic nearby and requested to see the same physician who examined me for CAF. I was told that he had left the clinic and now he runs his own clinic somewhere in deep south part of the city. The receptionist added that she didn't think the other physicians would see me because they had no history of me and they wouldn't be able to evaluate my health. I said nothing and left. Then I went to the same clinic the day after that! There was another receptionist and I easily was able to convince her to make me part of the list for that day's patients! It's always the way. When someone comes to you with stupid excuses or reasons just ignore him or her and either go to another service provider or go to him/her at another time!
So here I was in the clinic and a female physician, probably British, based on her accent, came in. She went through the forms and wrote me a number of tests based on them. There was one thing that she was not able to figure out and I told her that I would check with the related Health Canada office. She was a nice lady and she told me that I would need to get my vision tested as well as weight and height. 
I was then able to do the tests by sneaking out of work (which is a separate but not pleasant post) but when I contacted the regional employer's office (which could be the regional Health Canada office) I was told that there was no need for the tests! Damn it! They took blood from me and do you have any freaking idea how painful that is when they insert a needle to your arm!? And I also had to be exposed to damn X-Ray! But I was wrong! They don't need the test results. The physician would have to fill the form out based on what he or she observes and concludes! Anyways Those tests could be used just by me to see how my health is now that I have cut back to many disgusting and unhealthy food and perhaps I can have a post in that regard!
Then I scheduled to meet an Audiologist. This was the part that I was concerned about. I'm not saying that my hearing is impaired but working this damn, stupid labour job in a noisy place and other things that I have been exposed to in the recent days, scares me. Happily I came out a winner out of that but that was not it. When the doctor reviewed my blood test she said that my blood sugar was high! That was because I had not fasted and I said I had done it when I got to the damn lab because I didn't know it would have affected the damn result that much. I have not been eating sugar directly in my food for the past 10 years probably but there's sugar in every food you buy as prepared and that should be the subject of another post. I stopped eating almost everything made out of White Flour (which immediately turns into sugar in the body and has been denied to Diabetic people), I don't eat Chocolate that much any more. So I don't know how the hell that happened!
The physician wrote me another lab request and I hated that because if anyone had told me that I should have fasted before the damn test, I would have and I didn't have to subject myself to the damn niddle twice. The second test, surprisingly was much easier. I contacted Calgary Laboratory Services and asked if there was any lab open on weekends. The lady named me three but added that I would probably have to wait for over an hour because I have not booked for it. The weekend morning I got myself to one of the locations and presented my paper. They called me within only 5 minutes(!) and since it was just Glucose that they had to test this time, it was much less painful.
I went back to the doctor and she showed me that everything was fine. I posted the completed forms and now all I have to do is to wait for their response. I assume the next step would be security or reference check. A. F. told me once that there would be an interview regarding security but there's no mention of it in the employer's website. If not then the next step would either be reference check or the online course. I'm a bit worried about the reference check but online course would not be such a challenge.
(Photo: The lady physician seemed OK but excited and uncomfortable at times which could be due to the age. She was not very old but old enough to work only once a week, if I heard that correctly)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Guide to Grocery Shopping in Calgary

If you're new to Calgary or don't know much about where to shop your groceries, this post may help you. However this is not all about bargins! This is about where you can see the most beautiful women and the least attractive and repulsive ones! But stop right there! I'm not a pervert. Everyone is attracted by neatness, cleanness, beauty and such. Maybe not everyone. I am. So here I'm going to have ranking of grocery stores and supermarkets of Calgary here. Go through and absorb the information, if you're interested. If you're not please leave without making crude comments:

1) Grocery shopping combined with sighseeing of some of the most beautiful women in the world is offered by Calgary Co-op, Midtown Market! You should mainly go on weekends but weekdays after 16:30 MST also offers good samples. Nevertheless I don't know how the word " Some " could be used for women which actually is a countable term! However you need to keep this in mind that Co-op is generally considered expensive store. It times they have sales which eases of the pain of the shoppers and that's mostly, similar to the other stores, during the weekend. The other thing that I would like to mention is that their membership is a joke. I was member for nearly 9 years and I never got a single Penny back from them! Eventually when my card was broken, I didn't even bother to get a new one! 

2) If you like to see strangely-dressed and styled boys and girls and the same time do a little grocery shopping or have a light meal, I would recommend to check Community Natural Foods on 10th Avenue, SW. You, without a doubt, would see really beautiful girls and women, again and I can tell you that competes with the above store! There in that store you mostly pay for what you get but a number of their items could be found in other stores either at the same price or even a little less but It's not recommended to stay away. They have nice items. I haven't tried their café yet because I normally don't eat outside but it's most of the time packed until they run out of food but then you know if that is packed, that does not necessarily mean it's a good food. Most of McDonald's are packed at noon as well. What does that imply? It means that the majority of the population, even in a country which is considered DEVELOPED don't know sh*t about good food and the right way to eat.

3) Most of Safeway supermarkets, especially these days that the price of almost everything has gone up, provide reasonable prices compare to other stores. There was a time that I only went to Safeway for grocery shopping but know at times I have to check cheaper store, by travelling longer, to find a deal but that's not the case most of the time. Perhaps only 1 out of 10 shopping. Most of the customers of Safeway, in most locations, are the people who either have no other grocery store nearby or don't care about what they pay for whatever they get but there's no doubt that Safeway is most of the time less expensive compare to Co-op. 

4) Now we arrive at The Canadian Super"asshole", one of the most disgusting firms on the face of the earth. People so cheap and nasty that I wish someone could do something catastrophic to the company  that they cannot stand on their feet again! These cheap bastards didn't even have a website when I first came to Canada and I'm not here even for 20 years! Not to mention the disgusting behaviour of them over bread price-fixing! They later offered a $25 gift card but led to more controversy! They needed personal information of the people, I guess including SIN(!) and some refused to provide and I don't know what happened eventually! 
Nevertheless Super"asshole" is a good place for buying fruit, seafood, olives and a number of other items but at the same time a number of items are as disgusting as cat poop! To name, and I'm serious and suggest you to stay the hell as far as you can: Bread and everything in their bakery, most of the meat, particularly Ground Meat of different type, all of the canned food, mostly the stupid brand of No Name®, most of dried fruits, they are from cheap sources where they use all sorts of chemicals to dry the fruit, as well they use low-quality ingredients, anything in their sandwich and deli department and a number of brands of Cheese
Do keep that in mind that Super"asshole"'s locations are different. Going to the one in Sunridge or Westwind is equal to going to a corner store in Mogadishu, Somalia, during years of civil war or going to a shop in Amritsar, India! Dirty and nasty floors, customers who have not showered for days and use handmade cheap clones(!) to make themselves good-smelling! It's possible to get yelled at or get hit buy a shopping cart! When you park in the lot, you subject your vehicle and whatever is inside to a big risk but that is everywhere but the risk is a little higher in there. Customer service is even lower than 0! There are places that you go and they don't have customer service. In Super"asshole" the people who are supposed to help you, particularly in those two locations, in fact disturb you rather than helping by their lack of knowledge, skill and understanding of English and that applies to the majority of workers there. Once it took me three people to make them understand what I was looking for and they eventually were not able to help! 

5) And the last but not the least the nastiest, most disgusting, dirtiest and lest appealing grocery store in the entire Northern Hemisphere: Wal-Nasty-Mart! Everything I wrote about Super"asshole" is true and you multiplied that by 1000 and you get the review for Wal-Nasty-Mart. Beside if you go to Westbrook and Marlborough locations you will see the most hideous and horrendous creature that they ever existed in Canada: Extremely obese Aboriginals who have at times half of their tribe with them making strange noises and going from isle to isle, African kids who ride disabled people's motorized cart between the isle and they don't care if they hit you, all sorts of crooks and bandits who just come in to shoplift, you name it. Once I even saw a man who was dressed like Bin Laden and I'm not exaggerating! Seeing these unpleasant people, floors, at time covered in grime and dirt, careless employees and issue such as these made me not to go there any more.

Final Note: I don't consider CASCO even as a store to go into. Let alone shopping in that. So I have no review for that but saying that is a big goose egg!

I hope this rating helps the shoppers. If you like it then you like it. If you don't then you're someone who fools him/herself because that's all based on personal experience and all true. And I'm no cheap man to purchase disgusting, chemically infused, artificial food!
(Photo: For this post I am using a quite different picture! This was taken last week in a Punjabi store in the northeastern part of the city where these people live. It used to be a FutureShop! The store is not as bad as it should be and the prices are good but I didn't buy anything at the time. It's only good for daily shopping if you live in the neighbouring area. For me who lives just by himself and at time is too tired to wash fruits and vegetables, that would be a mistake to shop here) 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

An Invitation

When your ass is kicked over and over for the past 2 years and every door you're going to get through shuts on you, even the slightest pleasing means a lot to you! Of course by " YOU " I mean myself in the sentence! Sometimes it's even an smile from a salesperson or an e-mail from a friend.
This time it's an invitation to join a 2-day summit in the city for the V-Work I have started more than 2 years ago. Since I'm in the process of getting a position which for that I will soon need to leave the province and be away for the time this summit is held, I'm not sure if I could attend but the good thing is both the prospective employer and the organisation which has invited me, would cover my travel expenses. The latter though, I'm not sure whether would cover the air fair of that much since I would be flying from somewhere in the east. It's not good to daydream but I was hoping to save that ticket to go somewhere in the US, perhaps going to visit The Little Pika(!) particularly because it would be cold around that time in Canada and a trip to that part of the US would be pleasing and relaxing! It might not be easy to convince them to pay for the ticket but if I get the training and go, I will request that. I'm glad that I have kept the V-Work because despite my failure(!) in the past two months, I have something positive to do with my time.
(Photo: We all are so much used to e-mail and instant messaging and similar electronic services that we cannot imagine how the world looked like nearly 30 years ago when for instance invitations use to go by mail)

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Reading and Books in Canada

Electronic devices have replaced books and magazines in North America these days but books are still popular. One thing that I like very much about Canadians is the amount of time they spend on reading and I hope that will not be reduced and replaced by looking at stupid social media profiles of him and her!
Librarirs and bookstore are usually busy although boostores are monopolized similar to many other industries in North America and books are mostly sold by Chapters owned by a siminngly Jewish woman who banned selling of Mein Kampf in her(!) stores. This is the country which freedom of speach is indicated in The Canadian Charter or Rights and Freedom
I was in a Chapters a few months ago, looking at the titles. There are many good books that I would like to buy and read but I haven't. First of all because I don't have a stable life, a nice place that I can put my bookcase and also don't have a quite and nice leaving room that I can simply sit and enjoy a book. Second of all books are mostly expensive. And not to mention that I've been living in sh*t in the past 2 years, not being able to get a real job and cover my expenses.
A copy of the official Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom which was introduced in 1982 and signed by Queen Elizabeth II in the same year
Nevertheless I contacted my friend S. G. in the old country and asked him what he thought of turning these notes to a book and sell them. He is a very good friend of mine whom I know her since Grade 5 but his answer was very disappoiting! He said that he did not think that the current government lasts another years and he was somehow confident there would just be chaos the time the book is worked on to be translated and publish and most likely no eraders! 
I contacted two other friends, The Little Pika and M. E. and their answers were quite similar. I also checked the news on that part of the world and realized that things looked pretty hairy. I concluded that he could be right. 
I will be writing these notes despite what S. G. mentioned. The origianl reason for this weblog was not turn it to a book but if an opportunity presents itself, I will.
(Photo: I found this book in a Chapters about an obese woman who climbed Mt. Kilanjarou! I really don't know who would pay, prehaps $20 to read it. I know that I wouldn't!)

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

The Second Month of Disappointment

The result of V. Work came out last week and I, again, lost the result to another volunteer for the second consecutive month. That is a quite disappointment and parhaps that's why I was not very successful the past weekend and despite plenty of free hours, I was not able to work much. I knew my contributions were not significant but I had a little hope but apparently that was an empty one! 
I sat at the damn, disgusting library, which resembles a bar in terms of noise more than a library(!), and couldn't do much! I did even worse at home because unless it's winter it's very hard to sit at home for hours and hours without doing much. I had promoised myself that this month I would contribute as much as needed to be able to win the monthly recognition award but I failed. It's evident that the other person had worked harder than I did. I already am discouraged for this month but will I be able to compensate and rob the award from him/her?
I guess there're three reasons for not being to work as hard as I want on this matter:
  1. Being tired such as a dead man most of the time, particulalrly weekdays
  2. Lack of a significant reward
  3. Laziness
In a way reason number 1 stems from reason number 2! And the reason number 3 stems from having a job which although is not well-paid but it covers most of the expenses.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Going to Work on Bike?

Last Fri. was Bike to Work day but I drove because the weather looked scary! The weather always, maybe not always, most of the time looks that way but the fact is if you have an easy job, something quite similar to what I used to do, it's easy to bike to work but if you have to move continuously, push, pull and lift and at times consume more than 2500 Calories a day, then it would not be as easy to ride a bike to work. 
Nevertheless I decided to try it, for the second time, yesterday. This time, tough, unlike what Google Map suggested I took a different path and instead of 48 min. it took me only 39 min.! It's obvious that 9 min. in cycling is a huge difference. That reminded me of another time that a route was suggested to me by this website and I found out later that it was not the best! I think Google Maps calculated that time based on an average cyclist with a normal bicycle. I rode fast at points and I have my old Steve Bauer bike which still does not have good brakes but have a new front tire and is as fast as hell! 
Here is a problem that I might face on my way to work: There was a railroad crossing and although I caught up with the train, by the time I got there the arms were down, the light were flashing and the bell was ringing! I had to wait for nearly 6 min. for the train and then cross. That could be a problem on a working day but since I'm 9 minutes ahead of the calculated time by Google Maps, I guess that 6 minutes could be easily ignored. There's an alternative to the path which bypasses the crossing but that gets me to a major highly-congested road while this way it's all pathway except the last 5 minutes. It took me 5 minutes less to get home when I was returning, nearly 35 min. only, considering there's 51 m. elevation difference. I have to see whether I will be able to do that for the rest of the time that I work this disgusting job, at least every other day.
(Photo: Canadian Pacific train that I had to wait for at the crossing)

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Income Tax 2017

The deadline for filing the 2017 Income Tax was yesterday and I did mine nearly 10 days earlier. I tried to decrease my taxes as neither 2017 nore 2016 were good years for me. 2016 was , without a doubt worse with being unemployed the entire freaking year! Then 2017 was a notch better! I went to Quebec and failed there and came back to Alberta and after a try I was given a job which I still work it. It, most of the time, is a mental tourment but I don'yt have choices. 
Nevertheless this year I looked at the questions and read them carefully and a few of them sounded interesting to me that I would like to bring them to the attention of potential readers here:

1) Did you spend time in a prison or similar facility?

I was going to respond to this question with a big YES and mentioning CFLRS! I don't know what the response would have been or if I would have been eligible for any refund! 

2) Former Spouses information.

The former spouse was sick of me and although she wasn't able to make her mind, eventually left me. She then regreted after finding out that I was heading to CFLRS and said that he would have to go back to the old country since British Columbia (the province that that she had moved to) was very expensive and obviouly she wouldn't be able to live comfortably there by herself. I would probably have to have a post about that but it's, I guess, wouldn't be a plasant story to narrate. 

3) Membership with a registered Canadian amateur organisations.

Another funny part of income tax! You have to pay some $600 annually to be part of an amateur organisation and most likely hang out with a bunch of wimps who doen't even like you because you're a forigner although most of them can barely reach you! In that case, and I only assume the Government pays you something back, probably becuase they want to encourage people to be active, I think! Or some other reason that I have no idea about.

4) The damn courses.

I paid nearly $2400 for a damn course in late 2017 and I haven't finished it yet! I asked the organization to tempororily hold it. I wanted to see what the fate of my job application becomes and then when I have time, I will focus on the damn course and will finish it, will get my certificate which I have planned (without the detail yet) to use it as a second job of mine once I'm hired for that full-time position. I'm trying to find out whether I would be able to get refun for that course as well. According to The Brave I would be iligible for a refund but when I entered it to my H&R Block profile the deduction was only $500! I

5) Contribution to RRSP.

That's where my major screw-up is! If there's a good amoungt of money contributed to RRSP account, there's a good eligibility for refund. I used to do that when The Lady was wtching me but now that she's gone my life is nothing but a pile of stinking shit! 

At the end I was able to eliminate what I would have owed the Government and claim some refund! The system indicated that there is a little chance that I would be audited. Fine! CRA can audit me anytime they want and I'd more than happy to cooporate. What is that they can find in a guy's file who was kicked out of a job he was good at, was unemployed for more than a freaking year and eventually got a job which is nothing but daily torment and he's not even making half, not even half, of whay he used to make!
(Photo: According to Canada Revenue Agency, headquartered in Ottawa, Billions of dollars are lost every year due tax evasion! And that is not because of the totally screwed-up peopel such as me who after years of living in this country, they still are struggling. That's because of smart asses who know how to defraud the Government)